[identity profile] kagome654.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
A while ago I posted Neil Gaiman's 'Green Lantern/Superman: Legend of the Green Flame'. I prefaced the entry by saying it was a continuation of sorts of an older story known as 'The List' (published in Action Comics Weekly #606). I've finally decided to post part of that story, which depicts a surprisingly vulnerable Hal Jordan and (even more surprising) an uncharacteristically rude Alfred Pennyworth.

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First, a little background-
Hal Jordan has just returned from space. He's recently been held captive in another galaxy, is on the outs with his girlfriend, is homeless (his apartment having been destroyed), jobless, directionless and totally miserable. To make matters worse people on Earth seem to be afraid of him.

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He decides to contact John. Unfortunately as bad as Hal's life is at the moment...well, poor John's is ten times worse.

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I think it was emotionally mature for Hal to realize that he needs support and advice. He could have just as easily decided that he needs to work out his problems alone...which would have lead to a lot of ineffectual angst.

I'm a little less impressed by his lack of judgment when it comes to determining who would be the best to talk to about such things. If you're looking for emotional support and guidance Wayne Manor should NOT be your first stop....

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Believe it or not, Bruce let him down easily compared to some...

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One of the sequels to this story involved him talking to Dinah about his problems. Apparently someone finally remembered they were actually fairly good friends (which makes his treatment of her in 'Cry for Justice' all the more irritating) and it, unsurprisingly, went a lot better than this. Unfortunately I don't have that issue, so I can't post anything from it.

So, we're off to see everyone's favorite archer (Haha...ha).

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...Ouch. Someone remind me why these two are friends again?

Anyway, I really liked this story. I don't mind Johns' characterization of Hal as much as some, but he does seem to have a limited emotional range. He always seems to be either full of righteous indignation, talking like a quippy action hero, or angsting in a very macho sort of way that seems oddly shallow. I miss the occasionally goofy Hal, the who is not embarrassed to be a little vulnerable and emotional and can (and has!) 'weep/ed openly and without shame.'

Date: 2009-06-16 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kd_the_movie.insanejournal.com
As a most of the time Hal Jordan Hater, i liked this story. It's always good to see the everyday/everyman struggles of a Superhero. Though if I was Hal I still would've given J'onn a shot, he's good at these type of things. And I see this is Priest's work before he was Priest.

Date: 2009-06-16 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
God damn, did the writer have it out for Hal or what?

I remember Kurt Busiek summerizing Hal post Green Lantern/Green Arrow as a angst ridden, aimless middle age loser. And these scans don't appear much off the mark, yeesh.

Date: 2009-06-16 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taggerung301.insanejournal.com
:'(
poor Hal
everyone seems uncharacteristically mean here

Date: 2009-06-16 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taggerung301.insanejournal.com
Yeah, Clark was just busy, but green arrow was ridiculously cruel there. It's hard to believe that they could still be friends after that.

Date: 2009-06-16 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adon_ca.insanejournal.com
Definitely. I don't know if they intended it, but Ollie seemed to cross the horizon from 'telling it like it is' to 'being a heartless jerk'. Not that being a jerk is too much of a stretch for Ollie much of the time, but his main reason for blowing him off here almost seemed to be because he thought Hal was cramping his style. Very uncool.

Date: 2009-06-16 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Because Hal, post-Crisis, was an embarrassing problem for DC to solve. At that time(and I'd include myself back then), there was not the nostalgia for the Silver Age that fills Johns and others. Quite the opposite--MAN OF STEEL was emblematic in its resolute anti-nostalgia.(Lois' snickering reaction to Metallo's name in that is probably the best single distillation of that) Instead, the remnants of the SA--starting with Barry Allen, but a lot of the Crisis was bent on targeting them particularly(consider: we start with Earth-3)--were dated embarrassments inappropriate to the modern and dark 80s.

So Hal had the bad luck to have not died in the Crisis. So they had to darken him. That's when we got alkie Hal. This is around then. Consider that so many of these are treating Hal like an embarrassment; this is a reflection of the editors' view, and also the fans. At the time we LIKED watching these perfect and upright characters degraded. You have to understand, back then they were pompous and had been a long time, and the truth is that the retcons of late are more interesting and better-written than the stories they're trying to recall & restore were. NOW we like the traditional versions, but only because we got so sick of the dark.

Date: 2009-06-17 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
You're welcome!

A further and less kind view would be that Dc at the time wanted to butch up their heroes. BRAT PACK and a lot of other stuff at the time focused on the gay underpinnings of characters like this in a way that, nowadays, would definitely be considered homophobic. Which was part of a general conversation in comics that began then concerning the sexual undepinnings of superheroes, that has evolved in our time to the wonderfully advanced "context is for the weak" tag.

I thought Pat Mills dealt with this issue much more intelligently in MARSHAL LAW than Rick Veitch did in BP--I'm sorry, but I do think the Midnight Mink is a repulsive character born of Wertham's worst wet dreams, that's more meant as a crude, ugly caricature of gay men(really, more child molesters--I wondered, reading it, if Rick knows the difference) than Batman. Whereas Mills' Batman analogue didn't molest his sidekicks, he harvested them for spare parts, which is much more to the satirical point, never mind that it's not homophobic and still holds up.

Point is, there was a lot of that, and god knows comics boys can be sensitive about that. So, DC, I'll just say it, felt that compared to Marvel their characters that had underpinnings to a quainter and sillier era seemed kind of "gay." Look at a lot of the "darkening" changes after the Crisis in that light and see if a lot of it isn't really based in that general sense. They wanted their characters tougher. So Superman's--well, almost everything, or Hal's ass? Problem number one. (Consider which white GL WAS popular then, Guy Gardner, the Red State Lantern if there ever was one) Also the bare-chested guy wearing wings. And so forth.

And when they did try a gay character? He had to be so flaming he might as well have his name be "Gay Man." Oh wait, they did. Extrano.

Date: 2009-06-18 09:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Wait, it gets worse: Englehart created him. And I'm sure meant well. Which makes it even worse. The character is only a slightly less offensive stereotype than the Golliwog.

Though I might be a bit hard on his name. It's not an atypical DC sort of name for anything "exotic," with names like "Apache Chief."

His Power? Being Fabulous!

Date: 2009-06-18 09:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Image (http://www.popcultureaddict.com/comicbooks/lamestsuperheroesII.htm)

Date: 2009-06-16 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sistermagpie.insanejournal.com
Did Hal do something to warrant this cold shoulder, or is he just now seeing all at once that he's got no relationships?

Date: 2009-06-16 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] domino_blue.insanejournal.com
I think it has something to do with the Mike Grell run of Green Arrow while good it was like everything just had to realistic with no superpowers or trick arrows, a good example was the loss of Black Canary's power set. so maybe that scene was made to break the connection with Green Arrow so he would not show up in Grell's run, despite being such a classic team.

Date: 2009-06-16 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Yeah, by torturing her.

God damn you, Mike Grell. I am never going to wash that series out of my mind.

Date: 2009-06-16 06:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlbarnett.insanejournal.com
that's no damn excuse for being that cold. THose people are supposed to be heroes. They didn't act like it.

Date: 2009-06-16 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] runespoor7.insanejournal.com
If you're looking for emotional support and guidance Wayne Manor should NOT be your first stop....

However, if you're looking to convince yourself that there's always worse than you, it's a good start! :D

Date: 2009-06-18 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salamangkiero.insanejournal.com
Yes, If you have to go around wearing tights at night, with your underwear over your pants and the belt on top of it...

Date: 2009-06-16 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nevermore999.insanejournal.com
...so Bruce, Clark and Ollie don't care that John's being framed for a crime her didn't commit and is currently stuck in jail?

I mean, even if Hal sucks, you'd think they'd care that John is in deep shit.

Date: 2009-06-16 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] espanolbot.insanejournal.com
Probably too busy or can't get involved without revealling their identities or some malarky.

Date: 2009-06-18 07:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nalanzu.insanejournal.com
...complicated? Complicated how? <3

Date: 2009-06-19 09:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nalanzu.insanejournal.com
O.o That definitely counts as complicated. Veered waaaaay off the original issue. (Way to go, Hal and John.) Many thanks. <3

Date: 2009-08-09 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ficticons.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
FYI, it's already been posted here.

Date: 2009-06-16 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
It took him that long to remember Ollie was his friend? I think I see why everyone's avoiding him.

Next: Hal spends sad, drunken hours at Classmates.com.

Also: incredible growing paper! (bottom of last page)

Date: 2009-06-17 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Batman is easier to track down than GA?

Hmm. I'm rolling that around in my head but it's just not ringing right...I dunno...

Date: 2009-06-17 08:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timemonkey.insanejournal.com
Batman can generally be found in Gotham lurking in shadows or posing on gargoyles. Once you know what to look for finding him is easy.

Date: 2009-06-18 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salamangkiero.insanejournal.com
all you have to do is follow any young boy with a yellow cape...

Date: 2009-06-16 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mari_redstar.insanejournal.com
I was trying not to be dirty-minded this time, but that "Dinah and I have a good thing going" and "be a pal and don't upset the apple-cart" really make me wonder if Ollie thinks Hal's trying to muscle his way back into that menage-a-trois they and Dinah had going in the swinging Seventies. If only Hal had clarified that he meant 'good times and male bonding' and not, y'know, good times and male bonding...

Date: 2009-06-16 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ar_feiniel_.insanejournal.com
With friends like that, no wonder so many superheroes these days are Go-It-Alone Emo Kids.

Date: 2009-06-16 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dcanacek.insanejournal.com
There was an issue in the Mike Grell GA run where Ollie did something stupid (again) and was moping about it. Hal comes to Seattle and takes Ollie fishing. They talk, they fight, they help each other resolve the matter and they show why they were friends... So what the HELL is this?

Date: 2009-06-17 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Well, who wrote this? Because it gives the impression of someone who doesn't care much for Hal, and also doesn't really understand his history.

I mean, Bruce is nicer to him than Ollie is. I'm sorry, but as I recall, those two were never good friends. Friendly foils, maybe.

But of course, what it really is, is that, post-Crisis, GA at the time had successfully transitioned to "mature readers" comics, and was profitable. GL, as I mentioned, was on his way out just as much as Barry Allen had been. Hal wasn't cool. Simple as that.

But after the Crisis, there's a lot of "I don't know you, go away" going on among DC characters. Byrne's Superman has a lot of that. It was very much a "go away gramps" attitude, really.

Date: 2009-06-17 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.insanejournal.com
What's great about that issue is that, in the light of this story, it really shows depth to Hal's own character. He lets himself be Ollie's punching bag to bring his friend out of his funk, even after Ollie was a total dick to him.

Hal and Ollie. They love each other. With their fists.

Date: 2009-06-17 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Hmm. according to the GCD, this was James Owsley. Now I'm surprised, because he DOES understand GL and Hal, as I recall.

And this is 1988--VERY fresh off the Crisis.

Date: 2009-06-17 12:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mysteryfan.insanejournal.com
Yikes! That little sad list of crossed off names.

We'd miss grim, robe askew coffee-drinking Bruce, but Hal should just pass them a note in gym class. Do you like me? Yes/No.

I'm surprised Bruce gets up from the desk to show him the door. Versus just letting Alfred do it.

This is all kind of... yeah. I've read it before and it's still kind of... yeah.

Date: 2009-06-17 11:47 pm (UTC)
ext_396790: (Default)
From: [identity profile] filthysize.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
And so Parallax was born...

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